The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) calls for a 75 percent reduction in maternal mortality and universal access to reproductive health by 2015. Despite gains made, more than 215 million women around the world who want to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to modern contraception, and between 15 and 20 million girls and women continue to suffer from maternal morbidities and mortalities each year. Almost all occur in developing countries. To better deliver for women, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs created the Strategic Alliances with International NGOs (SALIN) collaboration for seven partner organizations dedicated to improving maternal and reproductive health in low-income countries. Collaborative efforts have helped provide access to quality, long-acting and reversible contraceptive methods to women, avert death from unsafe abortions, and prevent HIV infections through innovative integrated family planning and HIV services.
The Story of Kono Cecile
MY NAME IS KONO CECILE.
I am 38 years old, and I live in Yaoundé, Cameroon, with my two youngest children.
Fifteen years ago, I became pregnant with my oldest child, but she lives in Gabon with her father. I visit her when I can save the money. I work as a migrant farmer, tending fields outside of Yaoundé for a week each month. It’s not a steady income, but I’m able to sell some vegetables at the market and feed my children.
Three months ago, I gave birth to my fourth child. It’s hard to provide for him and my other children, so I’ve decided I don’t want to have any more right now. My friend told me about the implant she has that will protect against preg¬nancy for up to five years. I’ve used condoms and the pill before, but I’ve never been able to use anything regularly. And implants seemed too expensive.
Recently, my friend told me that Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing Social (ACMS) was going to offer free family planning services at a clinic in my neighborhood. I went to the clinic and met Nurse Djomo Odette. She explained all of my family planning options. In the end, I chose the Jadelle implant just like my friend. Now I know I have at least five years before I get pregnant again, which means I can focus on providing for my children. I want more for them than what I had — I want them to get an education and have a career. Now I think this is possible.